Karnataka

Mixed response to open-book exam proposal

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State government is considering the new concept for classes 1 to 5

The State government’s proposal to introduce the open-book examination system for primary schools has been met with mixed response. While some experts said the plan had potential to “redefine” the teaching methodology, others expressed reservations.

Under the open-book system, students will be allowed to look at textbooks or carry other written material and refer to it while writing the exam.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister N. Mahesh had said recently that the State government was contemplating introducing the open-book examination system for classes 1 to 5. Mr. Mahesh had said that closed book was “unscientific” and students writing the exam were being viewed as “criminals” as they were doing it in the presence of CCTV cameras. “Teachers need to change this system, not the students,” he had said, adding that the State government would consider the opinion of teachers, psychologists, and other experts to develop a new teaching methodology.

Echoing his idea, Rishikesh B.S., faculty at Azim Premji University, said an open-book exam at any stage was “most appropriate” and would eliminate rote learning. “It challenges the teacher to frame questions related to the concept and not pick it straight from the content. This approach will reform assessment. Good early primary schools encourage children to write what is on their mind without laying much emphasis on spelling and grammar rather than copy what is in the text; this will help the child’s creativity blossom,” he said.

However, experts pointed out the crux of the issue was the manner in which it is implemented. Basavaraj Gurikar, president of the Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association, said the open-book exam will help children search the chapters and find the answers and note it down during the test.

Some others have strongly opposed the move. D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said the move would have an adverse impact on the learning process of the child. “The Minister and bureaucrats tend to recommend their views without taking into account any research or take the opinion of experts. This is an extremely unscientific approach,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 1:21:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mixed-response-to-open-book-exam-proposal/article24256459.ece

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